Health Care Issue
There have been ebbs and flows of national nursing shortages since 1960 (Buerhaus, 2021). While nursing graduates increased between 2003 to 2013, one in five left their job within the first year (Broome & Marshall, 2021). Balancing against this is the retirement of seasoned nurses, who amount to one in every three nurses, and the movement of staff registered nurses to pursue advanced degrees (Buerhaus, 2021). Added to the staffing trend, an increase in the aging population, an increase in insured patients, and depletion of nurses post-covid, the national nursing shortage and long-term implications for delivering quality healthcare have become a national concern (Buerhaus, 2021). Better staffing has been linked to lower mortality ( Dall’Ora, 2022). It is estimated that we will need nearly 300,000 more nurses between 2020-2030 (Hadad,2022).
Impact on Work Setting
As a corporate wellness nurse, we have a relatively low 12.5% vacancy rate. Seventy-five percent of the work is completed by telehealth, allowing the staff to absorb the extra clients of the vacant nursing positions readily. Additionally, three temporary nurses have been hired. The position has many nuanced nursing interventions, and trust and continuity are essential for meaningful progress, and as such, temporary nurses are not ideal. The workday was lengthened, and the new patient admission appointment time was decreased from one hour to a half hour to accommodate more patients.
Health Care Organization Response
The corporation understood the impact on the staff and recently added in extra nonpatient charting time. The leadership team provided monthly meetings, which included impact statements of how lives were changed, and patients helped during the challenging short-staffed period reminding the nurses of our purpose (Jacobs et al., 2018). Lunch and learn activities were planned to offset the isolation felt with 75% remote delivery of services. Yearly satisfaction surveys were taken, and the results were shared as well as what steps were being taken to address significant concerns. Most recently, professional development and funding for certifications were announced.
The national nursing shortage has been felt in the wellness arena. Measures to alleviate the short staffing and retain staffing were helpful. To ensure staffing retention, the leadership implemented many measures such as open communication, responsiveness, career development, and innovative staffing supplementation. They reminded nurses of the mission statement and priority of helping patients live healthier lives which eased weathering the short staffing ( Lyon et al ., 2022). Highlighting purpose and offering incentives for education improved morale, as noted in the Well-being project of Anne Arundel Medical Center( Jacobs et al., 2018).
Broome, M., & Marshall, E. S. (2021). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
Buerhaus, P. I. (2021). Current Nursing Shortages Could Have Long-Lasting Consequences: Time to Change Our Present Course. Nursing Economic$, 39(5), 247–250.
Dall’Ora, C., Saville, C., Rubbo, B ., Turner, L., Jones, J .& Griffiths, P.(2022)Nurse staffing levels and patient outcomes: A systematic review of longitudinal studies. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2022.104311
Haddad LM, Annamaraju P, Toney-Butler TJ. (2022). Nursing Shortage. Stat Pearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493175/
Jacobs, B., McGovern, J., Heinmiller, J., & Drenkard, K. (2018).Engaging employees in well-being. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 42(3), 231–245.
Lyon, C., English, A., Cebuhar, K., & Emerick, J. (2022). Don’t Leave Me! Strategies for Medical Staff Retention. Family Practice Management, 29(3), 5–9.
BY DAY 3 OF WEEK 1
Post a description of the national healthcare issue/stressor you selected for analysis, and explain how the healthcare issue/stressor may impact your work setting. Then, describe how your health system work setting has responded to the healthcare issue/stressor, including a description of what changes may have been implemented. Be specific and provide examples.
BY DAY 6 OF WEEK 1
Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who chose a different national healthcare issue/stressor than you selected. Explain how their chosen national healthcare issue/stressor may also impact your work setting and what (if anything) is being done to address the national healthcare issue/stressor.
National Healthcare Issue
The national healthcare issue I have chosen to address is the nursing shortage which happens when the medical community does not have enough staff to operate appropriately. This is a critical issue to discuss because it affects patient care, nurse morale, patient satisfaction, the healthcare budget, and much more. The nursing shortage has been an ongoing issue exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Buerhaus (2021), in the next ten years, it is estimated that the number of nurses leaving the workforce for retirement will result in losing over 2 million years of nursing knowledge and experience that cannot be entirely replaced. It has been a goal to focus on replacing these seasoned nurses with well-educated nurses with BSN degrees. According to Gerardi et al. (2018), a goal of the Campaign for Action is to better utilize the existing nursing workforce by removing barriers preventing nursing students from getting their BSN. It is vital to focus on ensuring the next generation of nurses is well prepared to enter the nursing workforce because they will often be expected to take on more responsibility because of the shortage of nurses.
Nursing Shortage Affect on my Workplace
The national nursing shortage has affected my local workplace. I work at a large fertility clinic that relies on over 50 nurses for operations at our Colorado clinic alone. IVF nurses tend to have a high turnover due to the high-stress load and the pandemic intensified the nursing turnover. The additional reasons for turnover were that many nurses had babies and opted to either stay home or find work-from-home jobs, others decided to retire, and some nurses were lured to high-paying jobs at the hospital as travel nurses. The training for IVF nurses is very long due to the degree of specialty; therefore, vacant positions are very time-consuming to replace. My workplace has responded by increasing the base pay to attract more qualified nurses, implementing more charge nurses to help divide responsibility, continually hiring and training new nurses to staff up teams in preparation for filling vacant positions, and hiring LPNs to help with chart prep, data entry and various other tasks helping the IVF RNs. According to Ricketts & Fraher (2013), the “team-based” approach for nursing is being utilized increasingly to spread the responsibility of patient care to more people and use lower-paid positions such as LPNs as substitutes for aspects of care of higher-paid positions like RNs. The national nursing shortage will not be resolved anytime soon; therefore, it is essential to continue to be innovative to find solutions for covering patient care.
Buerhaus, P. I. (2021). Current Nursing Shortages Could Have Long-Lasting Consequences: Time to Change Our Present
Course. Nursing Economic$, 39(5), 247–250.
Gerardi, T., Farmer, P., & Hoffman, B. (2018). Moving closer to the 2020 BSN-prepared workforce goal. American Journal of
Nursing, 118(2), 43–45.
Ricketts, T., & Fraher, E. (2013). Reconfiguring health workforce policy so that education, training, and actual delivery of care
are closely connected. Health Affairs, 32(11), 1874–1880.